EEA family permit

You can apply for an EEA family permit to come to the UK if you’re:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA); and
  • the family member or ‘extended’ family member of an EEA or Swiss national (excluding UK nationals)
You must be outside the UK to apply for an EEA family permit.

Eligibility

The EEA citizen you’re joining must either:

  • be in the UK already
  • be travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application
  • If they’ve been in the UK for more than 3 months they must either:

 

Qualifying as a family member

You must be the EEA citizen’s spouse or civil partner, or related to them (or their spouse or civil partner) as their:

  • child or grandchild under 21 years old, or dependent child or grandchild of any age
  • dependent parent or grandparent

 

Qualifying as an extended family member or unmarried partner

You can apply as an ‘extended’ family member’, for example a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece.

You must be able to show that you’re dependent on the EEA citizen or are a member of their household, or have a serious health condition and rely on them to care for you.

You can also apply as an unmarried partner if you can show that you’re in a lasting relationship with the EEA national.

Extended family members and unmarried partners aren’t guaranteed to get a permit. Your individual circumstances will be considered when you apply.

 

How do I establish dependency under the EEA Regulations?

Direct family members must be wholly or mainly financially dependent on the EEA principal to meet his or her essential needs in order to qualify for an EEA family permit, (children under 21, spouses, civil partners do not need to provide any evidence to show dependency on the EEA national).

Extended family members must be wholly or mainly financially dependent on the EEA principal to meet his or her essential needs in order to qualify for an EEA family permit (durable partners do not need to provide evidence to show dependency on the EEA national). Emotional dependence to the EEA national would also be expected in order for an extended family member to qualify for an EEA family permit.

Whilst the following criteria are not in themselves grounds for refusal, they should be taken into consideration when assessing dependent relatives:

  • Whether there are any other close relatives in the country of origin from whom the family member receives material support. If a family member receives funds from the EEA national but, for example, is living in the same household as another relative who provides their food and accommodation, the family member cannot be said to need the financial support of the EEA national in order to meet his / her essential needs.
  • Whether the family member leading an independent life. For example, if a direct descendent 21 or over is married (and especially if they have children), it may be questionable as to whether the EEA national is supporting the essential needs of both the family member and their spouse and children. In such cases additional attention should be paid to ensure that the financial essential needs of the family are being met by the EEA national.